Flowers To Plant For Gorgeous Spring Color

flowering quince
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Nothing hits the landscaping sweet spot like a well planned flowering garden in the spring. Gazing upon the colors that Mother Nature unveils can be so satisfying. Enjoying these gifts when the renewal of spring is upon us lends buoyancy to our days.

A selection of annuals, bulbs, and perennials will do spring justice. Whether you live on the coast or in the mountainous regions of the South, have a large flower garden or a small patio with hanging baskets, your local nursery will have the best selection of flowering plants that will work for your specific area.

Our tips for some eye-catching flowers to plant will help you decide on not just the color, but also the placement. Dust off your gardening tools, and map out your garden. This list of blooms will have you positioned for a riot of color this spring.

01 of 13


verbena flowers
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Verbenas make great companion plants. Low growing varieties make good ground cover and hanging basket plants and the taller verbenas show out in borders. Most varieties thrive in heat and tolerate drought.

  • Botanical Name: Verbena x hybrida
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Soil Type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: Acidic, neutral

Helpful Tips

  • Verbana dislike overcrowded conditions and soggy soil.
  • Space the plants well apart so they have plenty of air circulation.
  • Once mature, these plants have average water needs (1/2 to 1 inch per week) but will tolerate short periods of drought.
02 of 13


Pentas Lanceolata
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Depending on the region, pentas are grown as either a perennial or annual. This plant flowers like crazy, bringing butterflies and hummingbirds into your garden. The scarlet flowers with pink centers are irresistible to them. Variegated foliage contrasts nicely with other plantings. Chartreuse- or black-leaved sweet potatoes are perfect partners.

  • Botanical Name: Pentas lanceolata
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, 6 being ideal

Helpful Tips

  • You should deadhead pentas flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Fertilize in the spring with a slow release granular fertilizer.
  • Pentas are not prone to many diseases and the main pest problem is spider mites.
03 of 13


Larkspur flowers
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A close cousin of the delphinium, larkspurs come in a rainbow of colors -- purple, blue, lavender, pink, salmon, and white -- and their flower spikes stand two to five feet high. Larkspurs are effective in borders and make good cut flowers; lower-growing kinds do well in containers.

  • Botanical Name: Consolida ajacis
  • Sun Exposure: Partial sun, full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: A range of slightly acidic to neutral works, as larkspur is not fussy about pH levels

Helpful Tips

  • Larkspurs are toxic, so exercise caution when handling them. Wear your favorite pair of gardening gloves to to avoid skin irritation.
  • Larkspurs can grow quickly and become overwhelming. It's best to prune away any spent flowers throughout the blooming season.
  • Once spring has come to an end, it's best to deadhead your larkspurs.
04 of 13


Foxglove flowers
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The most common foxglove, the flowers are 2 to 3 inches long and look like clusters of bells dangling from the sturdy stalks. Blooms vary in color from creamy white to dark pink and purple with spotted throats. They're one of the easiest plants to grow, adding height (3-5 feet tall) and charm to any garden. When possible, plant foxgloves in protected areas next to walls or fences and away from windy locations.

  • Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-draining soil
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic, 5.5 to 6.5

Helpful Tips

  • Caring for the foxglove plant should include keeping children and pets away, as all parts can be toxic when consumed. This may explain why deer and rabbits leave them alone.
  • Foxglove flowers grow on stems which may reach 6 fee in height, depending on variety.
  • As a biennial or short lived perennial, the gardener can encourage re-growth of foxglove flowers by not allowing the soil to dry out or to get too soggy.
05 of 13

Pansies and Violas

Pansies and Violas
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All pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies. The two words have become virtually interchangeable, but even though these plants share common origin, there are some differences that could determine which would make the most impact in your property's landscaping.

Violas, also known as Johnny-jump-ups, are a compact version of pansies. Many violas will reseed freely in the garden. Both pansies and violas come in a variety of colors ranging from white to blue, red, orange, yellow, and purple. These small, compact annuals provide sporadic color in the winter months and then form a carpet of blooms in the spring.

  • Botanical Name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil Type: Humus rich and well-draining
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral

Helpful Tips

  • Pansies are great for containers. Just use standard potting soil designed for containers.
  • Pansies like full or partial sun, but need cooler temperatures to thrive. The ideal planting site will get morning sun but avoid the heat of the late afternoon.
  • Pansies can be finicky to start from seed; it's a lot easier to buy established plants from a local nursery. Plus, you'll get blooms a lot sooner.
06 of 13


Snapdragon flowers
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These are great flowers for sunny borders, growing 6 to 36 inches tall, depending on selection. Medium and tall snapdragons work well in the middle or back of a border underplanted with pansies. Snapdragons come in many colors including white, pink, red, yellow, and orange.

  • Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Fertile garden soil with excellent drainage
  • Soil pH: 6.2-7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral)

Helpful Tips

  • Although snapdragons tend to slow down and stop blooming in heat of mid-summer, if you keep them watered, they will perk up and carry your garden through the fall.
  • Pinching off the stem tips on young plants will make them thicker and bushier, and deadheading the spent flowers will extend the bloom season, often right into the first frost of the late fall or early winter.
  • Planting them in part shade and keeping them well-watered will help them make it through the summer and they will likely bloom again in fall.
07 of 13

Sweet William

Sweet William Dianthus
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These hardy, old-fashioned biennials are often grown as annuals. Small plants set out in the fall garden quickly spread to form a mass of foliage. The plentiful leaves help keep the garden green throughout the winter. The following spring, dense clusters of white, pink, rose, purple, or bicolored flowers appear. The blooms look like small clouds on top of tall stems.

  • Botanical Name: Dianthus barbatus
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, good drainage
  • Soil pH: 6-8 (neutral)

Helpful Tips

  • Sweet William contains saponins which are toxic to most animals, including cats and dogs.
  • The flowers grow in rounded, dense clusters. Colors range from white through intense red and purple, often bicolor.
  • Sweet William thrives in loamy, slightly alkaline soil in sun or partial shade in hot summer climates.
08 of 13


Red salvia, scarlet sage

Salvia comes in many gorgeous shades, from stunning orange-coral, to pink, to pale lavender. This tough, hardy plant is a great addition to your yard because it can withstand even the hottest summer days. Plant and enjoy; it requires minimal maintenance.

  • Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5 (slightly acidic)

Helpful Tips

  • The best time to plant salvias is from late May to early June, after the risk of late frosts has passed.
  • Salvias are ideal for a coastal garden and are often a key plant in a dry garden.
  • Taking salvia cuttings in the fall is a good way to keep these drought-tolerant beauties going from year to year.
09 of 13


Camellia flowers
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These late winter and early spring bloomers are practically spilling off of the shrubs at this time of year. Reds pink, and white blossoms are gorgeous garden staples. Plant one shrub to create a focal point with impact, or grow several to form a hedge, fence cover, or barrier for privacy.

  • Botanical Name: Camellia japonica
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: High organic matter, good drainage, moist
  • Soil pH: Acid (<6.0)

Helpful Tips

  • Camellia attracts pollinators and songbirds and is at home in an Asian garden, children's garden, edible garden, or pollinator garden.
  • Prune immediately after flowering or in early summer. Pruning later in the year may sacrifice next year's blooms.
  • Flowering may start as early as October and finish as late as mid-March. The flowers on each plant will usually last three to four weeks.
10 of 13


Daffodil flowers
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These bright and brave blooms are one of the first to pop their heads up out of the ground after a cold winter. The best part of planting these hardy perennials – other than the surprise you get from seeing their color before anything else flowers, is they require minimal maintenance.

  • Botanical Name: Narcissus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Good drainage
  • Soil pH: Acid (<6.0)

Helpful Tips

  • Bulbs are toxic if eaten in large quantities.
  • The fragrant flowers bloom anywhere from late winter to late spring, between December and May, for 2-3 weeks total.
  • The flowers follow the sun so consider this when planting and be sure to have any shaded areas toward the back of the bed.
11 of 13

Flowering Quince

flowering quince
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This camellia lookalike is a sure sign of springtime. It brings bright flowers in early spring, and its blooms are vibrant and fragrant—plus they're deer resistant, which is great if you find four-footed pests creating chaos in your garden year after year.

  • Botanical Name: Chaenomeles hybrids
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, loamy soil
  • Soil pH: Acid (<6.0), Alkaline (>8.0), Neutral (6.0-8.0)

Helpful Tips

  • Its thorny stems make this plant a great choice as a border or security barrier to prevent intruders.
  • Fruits are produced when both male and female plants are available. The fruits are fragrant, said to have the scent of pineapples, lemons and vanilla. They can be used for making preserves. Juices from the fruits has been used as a lemon substitute.
  • Blooming occurs on old growth so prune sparingly.
12 of 13

Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisy flower
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These happy blooms are a perennial in the coastal and tropical south, but they're usually treated as annuals everywhere else. Sturdy and vibrant, daisies are familiar flowers that bring a smile to everyone they encounter.

  • Botanical Name: Gerbera jamesonii
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter
  • Soil pH: 5.5 to 6.5

Helpful Tips

  • In case you want to overwinter your gerbera daisies, you can simply leave them in a container and sink the container in the ground. When the time comes to take the plant inside, simply dig up the pot and take your plants indoors.
  • If you wish to start these from seed, make sure to do it indoors about 12 to 18 weeks before the anticipated last frost date. Simply sow the seed in paper pots or peat. These plants don't like to have their roots disturbed during transplanting.
13 of 13


Lantana flowering plants
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These flowers bloom continuously when the weather is warm. Dainty and vibrant, they look great in gardens, planters, or window boxes. Pick your shades, plant them in full sun, and wait for the bees and butterflies to arrive.

  • Botanical Name: Lantana camara
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy, moist
  • Soil pH: Neutral (6.0-8.0)

Helpful Tips

  • This plant does grow quickly and aggressively so plan its location accordingly.
  • Since it is native to warmer climates, it is very drought and heat tolerant and loves the sun. It thrives in hot conditions, poor soils, and requires little to no nutrients.
  • At the end of its blooming period, it will form seed pods which appear as small dark berries. This allows it to reseed itself in conditions that allow it, or an opportunity for seed harvest.
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